June 14th, 2024

Accused in Coutts conspiracy case awaits bail decision

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 2, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

One of four individuals accused of conspiring to commit murder during the blockade at Coutts in February, hopes to be released from custody today.
Christopher Lysak, who had a bail hearing Tuesday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench, returns to court today for the judge’s decision.
Following the lengthy hearing Monday, Justice Vaughan Hartigan reserved his decision until today, but advised counsel there is a chance he won’t be ready to deliver his oral decision, and the matter may have to be adjourned again.
Lysak, 48, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, mischief to property over $5,000 and uttering death threats.
RCMP reported last month they arrested several individuals during the protest at the Coutts border, after becoming aware of a cache of firearms and ammunition. A blockade of trucks and vehicles had been at the crossing since Jan. 29, but protestors began dispersing Feb. 15 in response to the discovery of weapons.
“The development with weapons and the personal armour was not associated with us, and to keep that distance we decided to leave peacefully,” said Marco Van Huigenbos, one of the protest organizers.
Police said they believe a small organized group within the protest was willing to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade. During the early-morning raid Feb. 14, police uncovered 13 long guns, as well as handguns, a machete, a large quantity of ammunition and body armour. Two additional weapons were seized later in the day.
Jerry Mitchell Morin, 40, Chris Carbert, 44, and Anthony Olienick, 39, are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, as well as possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief. They are scheduled to have separate bail hearings this week in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench, and then, along with Lysak, return to provincial court on March 15 to speak to their charges.
Eight other accused who were charged at the same time and released on bail shortly afterward also return to court on March 15. Ursula Allred, 22, of Magrath; Johnson Chichow Law, 39, of Calgary; Evan Colenutt, 23, of Raymond; Justin Martin, 22, of Raymond; Eastin Stewart Oler, 22, of Raymond; Joanne Person, 62, of Coutts; Janx Zaremba, 18, of Raymond; and Luke Berk, 62, of Red Deer, are charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief.
They are prohibited from contacting each other, and must not go within 200 metres of any protests or protest events. With the exception of Person, they are not to be any further south than Milk River, and they are not to possess any weapons. They must also live at specific addresses, as part of their release conditions. Oler, Allred, Law and Zaremba were granted permission to live in Calgary, while Berk will reside in Red Deer, Colenutt in Raymond, Martin in Turner Valley, and Person in Coutts.

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